Frank Peter Zimmermann demonstrates his love for the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his second installment of the violin concertos on Hänssler Classic. The Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 211, the Turkish-flavored Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219, and the Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major, K. 364 complete the series and make a satisfying program, while Zimmermann's polished and lively playing complements his fine work on the first volume.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra and its enterprising leader, violinist Richard Tognetti, wade with these popular Mozart works into a field with plenty of competition, and the results, as usual with this popular group, range from good to superb. The performances are generally oriented toward historical practice; the string players use gut strings, tuned slightly below modern concert pitch, and the oboes and horns are historically appropriate instruments. In general matters of attack and phrasing, the players do not diverge too far from modern practice, and Tognetti, in his own notes (in English, German, and French), points out that even if treatises of the period laid down certain procedures in regard to these matters, the notoriously capricious Mozart might well have done something completely different.
BIS has previously released two discs with Malmö Symphony Orchestra performing symphonies by Gösta Nystroem (1890–1966). The cycle is completed with the present CD, which contains the first of the composer's six symphonies, Sinfonia breve, as well as the third, and perhaps most well-known, Sinfonia del mare.
The world has not yet fully discovered the riches of the impressive music libraries and archives of Portugal. They testify to the often complex trajectories followed all over Europe by a repertoire of splendid pieces, many of them showing the extent to which the Italian style had taken root in eighteenth-century Portugal. The superb mass by Pergolesi recorded here is a highly characteristic example. But the ensemble Turicum wanted to go even further in their exploration of this repertoire, accompanying the mass with performances of works by composers now totally (and unjustly) unknown, such as Antonio Gallassi and David Perez, not to mention Leonardo leo, acknowledged in his own time as a supreme master of sacred music.
Miklos Rózsa arrived in Hollywood in 1940 after study in Leipzig and a stint in Paris where Arthur Honegger encouraged him to compose music for films. In California he found a strong community of expatriate composers including Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Korngold, and some of the finest instrumental soloists then active, including Heifetz, Rubinstein and Piatigorsky.
Filmed in Vienna's Grosser Musikvereinssaal in the early 1980s, this fabled rendering of Mozart's complete violin concertos appears on DVD for the first time. Premier violinist Gidon Kremer unites with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Wiener Philharmoniker in a tribute to the musical genius Harnoncourt deems "the most Romantic composer of all".
Conductor Jean-Claude Malgoire must be kicking himself pretty hard right now. Several years ago, impatient that no trace of Antonio Vivaldi's only opera set in the New World, Motezuma, seemed to be turning up, Malgoire cobbled his own version of the work by pulling together a variety of music from other bits and scraps of Vivaldi and fitting it to the extant libretto. Lo and behold, with the rediscovery of the Berliner Singakademie collection in Russia early in this century, the manuscript of Motezuma is now a known quantity, and it turns out that Malgoire's concoction bears no resemblance whatsoever to it. Nonetheless, even he has to be grateful that this extraordinary score has been located, and now, recorded by Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco on the Archiv Produktion release Vivaldi: Motezuma.